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Jo Geraghty

Director

Should a leopard change its spots?

Date added: 27th Sep 2013
Category: Customer Experience

Clients, employees, suppliers, shareholders, the wider public – those leading businesses nowadays have so many people to please it is no wonder that conflicts sometimes arise.  Have sympathy then for those who run zoos and wildlife parks where the welfare of the animals themselves needs to ride above all of the other interests, sometimes to the detriment of other parties.

Such was the dilemma facing Chessington World of Adventures when its employees became aware that animals along its off-road safari trail were becoming confused or worried when visitors wearing animal print clothing came along for the ride.  A spokesperson for the attraction said “The enclosures at ZUFARI have been designed to replicate the conditions species face in the wild. Therefore it’s no wonder animals are getting confused when they see what looks like zebras and giraffes driving across the terrain in a 7.5 tonne truck.”

With animal welfare coming first the visitor attraction has banned visitors from wearing a variety of animal print clothing including Zebra, Giraffe, Leopard, Cheetah, Tiger, Hyena and African Wild Dog.  Those who ignore or are unaware of the ban are being provided with grey boiler suits to wear whilst in the park.  Whether this enhances the visitor experience in helping people to become more aware of animal needs and psychology or detracts from it as favourite clothes are covered up only time will tell.

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